Infusing data analytics into the accounting curriculum: A framework and insights from faculty

Ann C. Dzuranin, Janet R. Jones, Renee M. Olvera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding how to use data to formulate and solve business problems provides an opportunity for the accounting professional to become a forward thinking strategic partner in the organization. The challenge for accountants is to develop the skills needed to extract value from data through advanced analytics. The challenge for accounting academic departments is determining the data analytic skills and tools that are relevant to the accounting profession and how and when to incorporate those topics into an already full curriculum. This is especially true for accounting programs that have separate AACSB accreditation, given that Accreditation Standard A7 requires universities with separate accounting accreditation to include content and learning objectives associated with data analytics and information technology skills. To address the challenges, we propose three data analytic implementation methods: a focused approach, integrated approach, and a hybrid approach. We present the results of a broad exploratory survey of accounting faculty regarding which data analytic skills and tools should be taught and how, when and where these topics should be provided to accounting students. We find support for a hybrid approach; whereby accounting programs include both a stand-alone course emphasizing data analytic competencies and accounting courses with data analytic competencies ingrained. We conclude with a discussion of the support for and limitations of each of our proposed implementation methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-39
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Accounting Education
Volume43
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Accounting curricula
  • Data analytics
  • Professional competencies
  • Survey research

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